George Gordon Byron

Born: 22 January 1788
Dead: 19 April 1824
In: Missolonghi, Grecia


Short description:

He was an English poet, peer, and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence, and is considered one of the historical leading figures of the Romantic movement of his era.
He is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and remains widely read and influential.
Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.
He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in the cities of Venice, Ravenna and Pisa.
During his stay in Italy he frequently visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Later in life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, and died of disease leading a campaign during that war, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero.
He died in 1824 at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Siege of Missolonghi.
Often described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was considered a celebrity in his era both for his success as a Romantic poet and for his aristocratic excesses, which included huge debts and many sex scandals - numerous love affairs with both men and women in a time when bisexuality was considered a crime, as well as rumours of a scandalous, incestous liaison with his half-sister.
One of his lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb, summed him up in the famous phrase "mad, bad, and dangerous to know".
His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as a foundational figure in the field of computer programming based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.
Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly Elizabeth Medora Leigh.


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